Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books in the Bible. I guess part of what I like is the poetic nature of the writing. Some the the images that are formed when I read this book are as truthfully profound as anything I have ever read.
As pertains to the title of this post, Ecclesiastes 1:9 informs us:
That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.
Bear in mind that this was written a long time before any of us were glimmers in our mothers or daddies eyes. It is apparent to me that in a time-line perspective there was a lot that went on before this was written and a lot that has happened since. And I don’t think the writer was talking about technological advances as much as making a declarative statement about the very human condition we find ourselves a part of today. In other words I don’t get the sense that there were people riding around on their donkeys surfing the web on their cell phones or I Pads.
I jest, but only slightly.
During the past several years that I have participated in this blog, “looking for the long ride” I have mostly told stories and shared my observations on life as I have lived and experienced it. I have purposefully steered away from politics and religious doctrine and have tried to find a middle ground within which I could have a voice.
I fully realize that most of what I have shared during these past several years is not something new and/or profound in a philosophical sense. There are most likely books written that better describe the revelations that I have stumbled upon which at the time I thought were unique and earth shaking. Not to cast dispersions at these varied and sundry thoughts.
Having said that I will now say this: I believe that we are living in very perilous times.
Take the recent marriage amendment vote in North Carolina as a case in point. For some reason the people that run the state’s political machine thought it prudent to accentuate what was already a law banning same sex marriages. And forgive me if I grew up watching to much TV but I have always thought that “marriage” meant a male husband and a female wife. This concept was built into my consciousness even before I was of bible reading age. It’s like in my DNA or something.
Now it seems there is a group of people that want to change what this word means so that they can have the legal benefits that marriage seems to afford. And not that I disagree with this point. Marriage is one thing and basic human rights are another. But to change the meaning of a word that has centuries of historical precedence is not he best way to accomplish this goal.
I accept a persons right to say what they want, choose a life style that is different than mine and even to have an abortion since it is currently lawful in the United States. But I believe that abortion is murder and that homosexuality is still a sin as outlined in the Bible. If we were indeed created to procreate and have dominion over the earth (read Genesis), homosexuality is not a natural way to fulfill this end. I know that it is easy to say love the sinner and hate the sin and that the church in America has not done a great job in living out simple biblical design. Statistics would tell us that there are just as many divorces, out of wedlock births and various other maladies in the church as there is in the general population.
The church or the Ecclesia as we are properly called has in large part failed to love the world into a relationship with a living God called Jesus. We are not as much the light on a hill or a sweet smelling savor to those who are persishing as we are a part of the world system.
I was born out of wedlock and only found this out when I stumbled upon my parents marriage certificate when I was in the 9th grade. I told my mother that there had been a mistake made since the certificate had the date of their marriage some time after the date of my birth. Talk about shock. However, as a grown man I had the occasion to thank my mother for making what was no doubt a difficult choice in choosing to keep me in the late forties when things were not as relaxed as they seem to be today.
In many respects I am not an analytical thinker and have trouble stringing together complex ideas and thoughts into sentences and paragraphs that lead you, the reader, into an epiphanous state. I don’t cover my bases as much as I suggest to you where they might lie in the fields of our lives.
I guess what I am trying to say in all this verbiage is we can expect more of the same. It is like Orwell’s “Newspeak”. The basic idea behind Newspeak was to remove all shades of meaning from language, leaving simple expressions (pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness, goodthink and crimethink) which reinforce the total dominance of the State.
I know that I have more questions than answers at this point. If I didn’t believe that there is a ray of hope I guess I wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning.
Or as Bob Dylan said it: You are right from your side, And I am right from mine. We are both just too many mornings, And a thousand miles behind.